Ellis Park Stadium (map it)
47 N Park Ln
Doornfontein, Johannesburg 2028
Year Opened: 1928
There are no tickets available at this time.
Official Review by Rob Cowie, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Ellis Park Stadium, also known as Coca-Cola Park, is a rugby and soccer stadium situated in the city centre of Johannesburg in South Africa. The stadium was originally named after Mr J.D. Ellis who made the area for the stadium available.
Ellis Park is home to the Gauteng Golden Lions franchise and the Orlando Pirates soccer team, and is also used as a venue for large events, such as open-air music concerts.
Two events have defined the history of the stadium, one great and one tragic. In 1995, Ellis Park hosted the final of the Rugby World Cup, which was won by the country's national team, the Springboks. Tragically, in 2001, 43 people were killed when a stampede occurred during a soccer game between local giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The usual snacks, fast foods and alcoholic drinks favoured by rugby fans are available within the stadium area. The fact that there is nowhere else to go outside the stadium means that supporters are forced to pay exorbitant prices for the refreshments provided.
Because of its location, the recent poor form of the Lions and the completion of the state-of-the-art Soccer City stadium nearby, Ellis Park has become a lot less popular as a destination for the average rugby fan. Supporters only really make the effort when there is a big international game taking place, which is becoming less frequent.
When the stadium is filled with passionate Springbok supporters, however, the atmosphere is incredible "" and more than a little intimidating for the visiting team. Apart from the atmosphere, the other advantage offered to the local team is that the stadium is situated at high altitude "" meaning that most of the travelling teams tend to run out of energy long before the final whistle.
As mentioned, Ellis Park is situated in the centre of Johannesburg - a notoriously dangerous place to visit. Most fans get in, watch the game, then leave as soon as possible. At big events, entertainment is provided within the confines of the greater (fenced off) stadium area which makes it safer for supporters to socialise before and after a game. You wouldn't want to wander too far away from the stadium though.
The die-hard Lions fan clings to past glories in an effort to escape the current depressing reality of his rugby-supporting life. A conveyor belt of coaches with good intentions and 3-year plans have passed through Ellis Park. None has delivered.
Supporters are often forced to hire taxis to make the journey to Ellis Park. Public transport is nonexistent, and there is a shortage of parking for those making the trip by car. For those who manage to find parking on the streets around the stadium there is the nagging doubt that your car is going be there after the game.
The return on investment is directly related to the result. If your team has won, you can congratulate yourself on making the journey, forget about the fortune you've shelled out on refreshments, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of returning home unscathed after a trip into town. Luckily the Springboks have a better than average winning record at Ellis Park, so the trip is usually worth it. For the Lions supporter, well...not so much.
There really are no extras on offer I'm afraid. Unless there is a big international game on and you're a fan of the Afrikaans musicians performing in the beer tent. Or just a fan of beer. Ok, one extra.
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